Pimento Cheese

Some weeks you fill up the freezer, and some weeks you deplete the freezer and then some. Last week was a depletion week at the Spector house.  This week we are restocking- eggplant bolognese, buffalo chicken casserole- but then taking all that to a friend who just had twins- and who already has an 18 month old. Her freezer needs it more than mine.

On a day when I have more time I plan to write up my thoughts on King Ranch Chicken- and why Southern Living was bonkers to put it in a crockpot (not everything should go in a crockpot, people!)- but for today, by request, I give you my master recipe for pimento cheese. Adapted from the Gourmet cookbook, this is James Villas’ recipe (and he claims it’s pimento, not pimiento, in the South, and you know we only argue w/Villas about freezing rice).  One tip I stole from Southern Living is to use half sharp cheddar and half extra sharp cheddar, and grate them on different sides of your box grater- the different textures make for a nicer spread.

  • 1/2 lb extra sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar
  • 1 7 oz jar pimientos, drained and finely chopped (or just buy the diced pimientos, I won’t tell)
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • (Optional addition I like: big splash of Worcestershire sauce)
  • (Another optional addition, if you want a real kick- half a can of Ro-Tel, drained- add this w/the peppers)

Grate the cheeses. Stir in pimientos, salt and peppers to taste (less salt if you’re using Worcestershire).  Then stir in the mayonnaise (and Worcestershire if using) and mash it all together until it has a fairly smooth consistency. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Allegedly this keeps up to 4 days in the fridge but I’ve never been able to keep it on hand that long.

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